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You can now watch our TV Series 'The Autoblog Show' online, this time featuring performance cars.
We have the Ford GT carving through California’s canyon roads, followed by a first look at the Toyota Supra. But first, just outside of Vegas, we test out the new mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
Check out episode six of "The Autoblog Show" above. It originally aired on Verizon Fios TV, the Yahoo! Finance Channel on the Roku TV app and SamsungTV+.
- This is "Autoblog." For over 15 years, our team has covered the auto industry. You can find more of our content at autoblog.com. But here on "The Autoblog Show," each episode features our favorite videos of the hottest new cars from all over the world. This is what moves us.
We are drivers, off-roaders, journalists, tech geeks, gamers, filmmakers, and adventurers. This is "Autoblog."
Coming up on this episode of "The Autoblog Show," we have a Ford GT carving through California's canyon roads--
ALEX KIERSTEIN: I'm going to shut up and let the GT do the talking.
- --followed by a first look at the Toyota Supra. But first, just outside of Vegas, we test out the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
JAMES RISWICK: And with the Z51 package that this car just happens to have, it'll go from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds.
So this is the new mid-engine C8 Corvette. This is the first time that I've been in this car. So far, kind of been taking it easy enjoying the surprisingly comfortable nature of it. But, of course, you cannot forget that lurking just right there over your shoulder-- you can see the thing-- is the classic 6.2-liter V8, All-American muscle in this very kind of not very All-American mid-engine-layout car. 6.2-liter V8 that has 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, and with the Z51 package that this car just happens to have, it'll go from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds.
This does have a eight-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. It's all new for the Corvette. So note, you have a water bottle here instead of a shifter. So some people are going to be cheesed about that. I kind of like the old seven-speed manual in the old C7, but this is a very good transmission.
Around town, you really got-- like, it kind of behaves like a regular automatic. You'd never think that it's a dual clutch. There's no herky-jerkiness or anything like that. But then it really fires off shifts very impressively like these big, chunky paddles mounted to this very not round steering wheel. Admittedly, the steering wheel looks a little goofy, but it does work well in that it does maintain visibility forward and gives you some clearance here for your legs.
Now, this is one of three seats available in this car. Personally, I think the bottom's a little pinchy. It would be nice if the bottom adjusted just as the side bolsters do. But the driving position is really fantastic. I'm 6 foot 3. I have tons of space in this car. In fact, I could move the seat back further. Don't need to. And even if I did, you'd hit your head here against the windshield or the roof header, kind of like you did in the Acura NSX, the original one. I like that car.
I like this car to kind too. This car reminds me of that original NSX-- in fact, there's a new one. How about that-- but in the same way that it is a everyday supercar. So this has useful front and rear trunks. You can use them. It's surprisingly comfortable. It is easy to drive. And then it's also a fantastic performance machine. In that way, it reminds me more of that NSX than a Corvette.
But what doesn't remind me of an NSX and does remind me of a Corvette is this.
That's good. That's really good.
Well, the interior of this new Vette is kind of not only a radical departure from the old Corvette and every one before it-- thank God-- but it is a departure from everything on the road, and that's really cool. Like, this is a mid-engine supercar, and mid-engine supercars should be just a little weird, a little bonkers, special. It should be an effect when you get in.
This great big border here in the car, that's all your climate buttons. They work fine. I like buttons. I don't want to go into a screen, especially when you are driving a mid-engine sports car. You're focusing on driving. If you want the cooled seat turned up, well, press a button.
So going around here, you do have this kind of palm rest that you can control the touchscreen. It's a great feature because if you're in a car that-- you know, this is a great ride for a supercar. Don't get me wrong. But there is a little more wiggling and jiggling than you would get in an Impala. And by anchoring your hand to it, it makes it easier to press things.
It also hides the drive-mode selector. So right now we're in Sport, but if you go to Tour, that does correspond to different gauges in the all-digital gauge cluster. Three different designs-- Sport and then Track.
Now, one of the things about this car is that the rear view is atrocious. You really cannot see anything out of it. You have the giant sail panels over the engine. The view from the regular rear view mirror is just glare of a windshield.
So fitted as standard here is the camera-based rear-view-mirror system. When I drove this in the Cadillac CT6 for the first time, it kind of startled me. The focal point is different than every mirror you've ever used, and when something's that different from something that you didn't really pay attention to it, it can kind of freak you out. But it's kind of a necessity in this car, and it's sure as hell better than looking at, well, a bunch of glare and, like, a mailbox view.
In terms of materials quality, to be generous, has not been the Corvette's most positive attribute over the years. This is a vast, vast, vast improvement. It's Alcantara everywhere. You have leather covering the dash. You have yellow stitching. And it's not just some nice materials covering some kind of cheap plastic. No, they have elevated everything beyond what it was before. Chevy said that if it looks like metal, it is metal.
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JAMES RISWICK: So, here we are on day two with the C8 here in verdant Pahrump, Nevada, and the Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club. This, of course, is the C8, and we're on an autocross, kind of a get to know you laps for this car, which we will be later taking on to the big track here. And, frankly, we're at an autocross. It's just kind of child's play for quite a serious performance machine that this car is.
Now, this orange car does not have the magnetically controlled suspension on it, the fourth version of GM's Mag Ride. That car does have it, so we'll see the differences between the two. Brakes work.
OK, so we are doing the launch control. What you do to engage it is you put it into Track mode, and then you press the traction-control button twice. Now it's engaged. It's in Competition mode, and you don't have to reset it every single time. So you put your left foot on the brake all the way down, and then you build your revs up to about 3,600 RPM. Let it sit there for a while. Lift off. And bam, away we go.
OK, so I've just done our hot laps in the C8. Now we're just kind of doing a cool-down lap.
Let's go over a couple of things. The engine and transmission, it is a little interesting driving a mid-engine car these days that isn't turbocharged and isn't some high-revving Porsche engine, really. So having a V8 does make it inherently different. So smooth. You don't have to shift a lot, but I did notice in automatic mode it could downshift at kind of weird times, whereas PDK or, say, a Mercedes AMG transmission, it knows exactly when to do it. And there were times in this when I thought I could override it.
Let's talk about steering, specifically the steering wheel. It does have this weirdly 3 and 1/2, 8 and 1/2 steering position. And after a couple of laps, my wrist started to hurt. I'm not really a fan of it, in retrospect.
The steering itself is very good. I like that it's very consistent in its effort, very linear. The weight is really spot on. Not too heavy, not overly light, really well done. Is it as, say, talkative as a Porsche Cayman GT4? No, but that's a pretty high bar.
The balance of this car, speaking of the Cayman-- I mean, this is a mid-engine car. You absolutely feel the car rotating around you. It's very easy. On a long corner, just hold your steering angle and steer with the throttle, exactly what you want. Didn't really have any whoa moments out there. Kind of speaks to how much weight is down on the back end.
If you are tall like me or anywhere close to as tall as me, you might-- you're going to struggle to fit with a helmet on. I was sitting really far forward in order to not hit the roof and the header back there.
So let's talk about brakes. Multiple laps, stayed nice and firm. The other thing is I really like the positioning of it. It is very friendly for left-foot braking, which if you're going to have an automatic car on a race track, left-foot braking is exactly what you want to do. You're going to go faster. So good job, Corvette, in that.
The seats, they hold you in place, and these are the base seats that I was driving. So they still have adjustable bolsters, but they're not pinchy in the butt like the competition ones. So you're absolutely fine sticking with the base seats, even if you are going to be going on a race track.
It's very easy to place the car. You know exactly where the road is. You don't-- unlike the old Corvette, you don't have a million miles of engine in front of you.
So in general, as a track car, just the regular Corvette-- and we know there's going to be more powerful versions coming-- but the regular Corvette Stingray with the Z51 package is quite the easy car to drive, very fast. It's rewarding, sounds cool. If you're looking for a car that is a performance bargain, yeah, more so than ever.
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ALEX KIERSTEIN: I'm going to shut up and let the GT do the talking.
We're on our way up to Angeles Crest Highway, the mountains above Los Angeles. And we're driving a Ford GT, the limited-production supercar that I'm sure you're aware is completely sold out.
We're in the softest mode right now. We're in Normal with the comfort setting on for the suspension. Very relaxed situation with the GT to be in, and just listen to how much noise we're getting just driving it normally. I'm going 50 miles an hour. We're just having a Sunday cruise and letting the transmission shift for itself, and boy it sounds wild.
It's not just one thing. It's not solely exhaust or induction noise. There's dual-clutch gearbox crackle and grind. There's turbo whistle. There's the carbon-fiber chassis sort of shaking over bumps. You can't forget for one single second that you're in what is essentially a race car dialed down very slightly for street use.
OK, we're in Sport mode now. I'm just going to open it up and let you hear what it sounds like.
[LAUGHS] Oh, the breaks are just so powerful. It's so stable under braking. It's unbelievable. And they're not grabby when they're cold. I mean, I haven't really been using them. Oh.
Despite the car being so wide and so powerful and its limits are so high, a narrow, twisty little road like that didn't really hold the car back. We still had plenty of fun, you know, hitting it as hard as was prudent. So I think that really speaks to this car's entertainment versatility, I guess you could say. It's remarkably entertaining on a lot of different types of roads, and that's not something you get with a lot of supercars. A lot of supercars thrive on the track, and on a regular, twisty little road, they feel like they're crawling. That really speaks to the GT's versatility. Although that being said, where this car comes alive-- clearly we're not on the track today, but it just-- everything about this car says I want to be on the track.
After driving this car all day up here on Angeles Crest, I have to say there's a couple of things that really surprised me about it. For one, I wasn't expecting a car with this much motorsport DNA to be this versatile on these public roads. And actually, the GT's kind of a sweetheart.
The other thing is the way it sounds. The soundtrack here is 100% motorsport. It's mechanical. It's raw. It's not really pleasing sounds, but something about the way it works together when you just rev the heck out of it, I couldn't get enough of it. I don't want to stop driving this car.
GREG MIGLIORE: "Autoblog" is the complete source of breaking car news, in-depth reviews, exciting videos on all the hottest cars. If you're in the market for a new ride, shop our thousands of listings, or use our car finder to discover your perfect match. Visit "Autoblog" today.
- Next up, after more than two decades, the Toyota Supra is back on American roads. Check it out with road-test editor Zac Palmer.
- Hey, man.
ZAC PALMER: What's up?
- I heard we have a Supra.
ZAC PALMER: We do have a Supra, actually. I'm super excited-- Supra.
- There it is.
ZAC PALMER: I still haven't seen one of these on the street in public.
- No, I haven't either.
ZAC PALMER: This is my first time laying eyes on it outside of the auto-show floor.
I don't think that any of these wheels are--
- What's that?
ZAC PALMER: I don't think that any of the wheels had this much chrome on them on the ones that I saw in Detroit or Chicago. I don't think they actually had it in New York, but jeez.
- Man, this looks good.
ZAC PALMER: I love the way this thing looks.
This design is, like, all Japanese--
ZAC PALMER: --all Toyota. It's everything else that's underneath-- and underneath this very good-looking hood that is also BMW.
- All right, next question.
ZAC PALMER: Next question.
- Want to get inside?
ZAC PALMER: Let's do it.
- OK, cool. Oh, it's locked!
ZAC PALMER: Should we turn it on?
- Yeah, we should.
ZAC PALMER: Why not?
No, that's like one of the differences right there in this interior between the Supra and the BMWs of yores. They actually give it its own little gauge cluster here. I like it too. It has a giant tach right in the center. That's exactly what I wanted in a--
ZAC PALMER: --sports car. Obviously--
- Quickly read it, no manual.
ZAC PALMER: Yep. Obviously no manual transmission here at all.
- I hope you can tell the difference between that and a leaf blower in the background.
What do you think of it so far?
EDDIE SABATINI: I think it's beautiful. What is this red called? Do you know?
- Renaissance Red.
EDDIE SABATINI: Renaissance Red.
EDDIE SABATINI: I don't love the steering wheel. Why didn't I get the flat-bottom steering wheel in this thing?
- So Palmer said the same thing. He doesn't like the feel of it. It's a little too round for him.
EDDIE SABATINI: All right, It's a little too round. I like this. I like a thinner steering wheel, but it's got the thicker-- this thicker bit right here.
- This gauge too, that is beautiful.
EDDIE SABATINI: Those numbers are really nice.
- Just perfectly--
You hitting your head?
EDDIE SABATINI: Yeah.
- Yeah, you are. Can you lower it?
EDDIE SABATINI: Let me get out. Oh, I just knocked myself right out. Can't get out because I got knocked out.
- What's the cost? Yeah, I'm going to say $65,000.
EDDIE SABATINI: You're high.
EDDIE SABATINI: 56,000.
EDDIE SABATINI: It's $53,990 with standard equipment, and then we've got the Driver Assist Package which which adds $1,195 for a grand total of $56,140.
Palmer, could we please go for a quick spin now?
ZAC PALMER: You don't really have to ask me that question. We're going to do it.
ZAC PALMER: I mean, so far it's a super-enclosed space. You know, it feels like a sports car inside here. You know, all the driving controls feel correct and where they're supposed to be. I like the pedal placement. I like the relationship between, you know, my legs and my body and what I'm actually looking at. You know, and I'm not sitting upright. I feel like I'm sitting, you know, more horizontal in this car than most.
Transmission shifts super quickly when you just daily drive it and gets it into a higher gear. I'm definitely going to drive Sport on the way back.
- Go into sport mode.
ZAC PALMER: All right. And I just felt the steering get much stiffer.
Oh man. [LAUGHS] Pop her into manual. That is a good crackling sound. I will admit that the crackling does sound similar to other BMWs that I've driven, but that's not a complaint. It sounds really, really good. That is an instantaneous shift.
- Thanks for watching, and we hope you enjoyed this episode of "The Autoblog Show." For a lot more of our content, check us out at autoblog.com where you can find the latest reviews and news on all of your favorite cars.
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